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Rancho Ortega Blog discusses matters of public interest in South Orange County, including the communities of San Juan Capistrano, Ladera Ranch and Rancho Mission Viejo.

The writings of Don Juan Ortega on the Rancho Ortega Blog are the personal views of the author. This blog is not authored by nor does it have any affiliation whatsoever with any other person, place or entity using the name "Rancho Ortega" (or any similar name).

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Dana Point IlluminOcean: A New Holiday Tradition in South Orange County

This is a new event for South County and it looks like the start of a fantastic holiday tradition:


The warmth of the Southern California winter season. The wonders of the deep blue sea. The dazzling spectacle of sights, sound and motion that’s electrifying our ocean views like [...]

Dana Point Times Publishes Candidate Positions on Two Important Questions

If you are following Dana Point politics, there is a vibrant City Council race going on over there. Among the most pressing issues are the city’s town center and Lantern District projects, the Doheny Village development and the Dana Point Harbor revitalization project. The Dana Point Times posed the first two of five questions to [...]

Big Surf at Dana Point Harbor

The anticipated big surf has finally arrived at Dana Point Harbor. Be careful out there on the jetty!

image credit: Dana Point Harbor (Facebook)

Save the Date: Dana Point State of the City Lunch on April 29, 2014

The Dana Point Chamber of Commerce will host the 2014 Dana Point State of the City lunch. The event will take place April 29th at The St. Regis Monarch Beach and feature a speech by Dana Point Mayor Lisa Bartlett on the future of economic and business development in the city. As you know, [...]

How Would South Orange County Fare in a Flood?

With all this talk about drought and water shortages, we thought it might be fun to imagine the opposite scenario. What would South Orange County look like following unprecedented rainfall? FEMA uses the concepts of a 100 year flood and a 500 year flood to determine high risk flood zones and establish high water marks. [...]

Great White Shark Spotted Outside Dana Point Harbor

Great white shark about three miles outside Dana Point Harbor, spotted less than an hour ago. Sighting and photo credit go to Dana Wharf Whale Watching:

image credit: Dana Wharf Whale Watching


Meanwhile, Don Juan Ortega is rethinking his plans to go stand-up paddle boarding this afternoon.


Tall Ships Return to Dana Point Harbor September 6-9, 2013

Lots of fun things to do around South Orange County during this time of the year. One of our favorites is the Tall Ships Festival in Dana Point:

The Toshiba Tall Ships Festival will be sailing into Dana Point Harbor next weekend from September 6 – 9. The Ocean Institute is celebrating its 29th year [...]

California Plein Air Painters Paint the Mission Tomorrow

Plein Air is a French term used to describe the practice, revolutionary in the late 19th Century, of artists leaving their studios to paint landscapes and scenes in nature. Many of the early French Impressionists painted “en plein air,” including Monet, Renoir and even Van Gogh. Around the same time (~1890-1930), California developed its own [...]

New Restaurant Coming to Dana Point Harbor

Remember when the venerable Jolly Roger restaurant in Dana Point Harbor closed its doors? Well, a replacement has been found. The new restaurant will be called “The Waterman at Dana Point Harbor” and it will be owned by the same company that operates Sunsets in Capistrano Beach and San Clemente (at the pier), and StillWater [...]

Aerial Tour of Dana Point Harbor

Local photography company Motion Lenz has published an aerial video tour of Dana Point Harbor and surrounding beaches to promote its aerial photography services.

It’s always fun to be reminded of the immense beauty of South Orange County. Great video.